2014 – Jessica Schneider

DSC_4263Jessica Schneider joined Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (CLCCRUL) in 2011. She currently serves as a Staff Attorney for the Fair Housing and Educational Equity Projects. In the Fair Housing Project, she handles intake for all housing discrimination cases and represents fair housing plaintiffs in federal and state courts as well as administrative agencies. Jessica also conducts outreach to educate landlords and community members about housing discrimination and the need for fair housing. More recently, Jessica helped launch CLCCRUL’s Educational Equity Project, overseeing volunteer attorneys who represent students in expulsion hearings and spearheading related legal and policy work such as addressing the disproportionate effect of school discipline on low-income students and students of color. Jessica’s leadership and energy was key to developing this important project. Additionally, Jessica has helped to build other CLCCRUL programs and coordinates the internship program. Jessica’s dynamic practice is an asset to the organization and critical to protecting Chicagoans’ civil rights.

Jessica’s path to her current position illustrates her tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to public interest work. After college, she served as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, first as a pro bono asylum coordinator and later as an immigration caseworker at a nonprofit in Houston, Texas. While in law school at DePaul University College of Law, Jessica was a student coordinator of DePaul’s Pro Bono Community Service Initiative, a member of the Center for Public Interest Law Committee, and participated in DePaul’s Death Penalty Clinic. Before, during, and after law school, she seized numerous public interest internship opportunities – many of which were unpaid – including volunteering at CLCCRUL after law school until a staff attorney position became available. Currently, Jessica is a member of PILI’s Alumni Leadership Council and serves as a mentor and teacher to students at Legal Prep Charter Academy.

As a result of her extraordinary efforts and accomplishments advocating for low-income children and families, Jessica was awarded a CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship in 2014, a financial award that will help meet her law school loan obligations.  “The support of the Chicago public interest legal community, and especially the Chicago Bar Foundation, is invaluable to me. It makes a meaningful legal career possible.”